Albert Canela and Mariona Vendrell started making wine in 2011 when they were just twenty. Based in the hills of Conca de Barberà, south-west of Barcelona in Catalonia and with investment from the local region, the couple farm organically and have a deep network of old-time growers who they buy their grapes from.
Catalonia's wine history is deeply and fundamentally linked to Cava and cheap rosé. This is no criticism and in fact over-commercialisation has shown itself to be the catalyst in many regions for brave, dynamic and pioneering young winegrowers to start swimming against the tide. Albert and Mariona are two of those winegrowers: young, entrepreneurial, respecting of their environment and champions of indigenous grapes. They've chosen to take a different path with the Trepat, Parelleda and Ull de Llebre varieties that have sustained the region for generations and the couple produce a range of pure, vibrant still wines that have become the new benchmark for the Catalonian wine.
We first discovered them on the list at Bar Brutal in Barcelona and could see instantly that they reflected an exciting, new direction for Catalan wines and one that instantly resonated with us. All work is done by hand in the predominantly old, bush-vine vineyards; grapes are picked to retain freshness but not at the expense of flavour and fruit; and only indigenous yeasts are used. Their whites get a little skin contact and all of their wines have a texture which reflects a true sense of place. There is minimal SO2 at any stage of the process and these are fantastic wines to drink or contemplate.